Springsteen tickets go on sale today for DC. And for the first time since 2003, I don’t know what I’m going to do about that.
Normally, I’d be preparing ahead of time. Rebooting my computer, a chromebook, my phone, and getting my husband to do the same with his devices. Historically, I’ve done better in the app than on the computer, but it’s best to be ready for anything. Make sure my credit cards are updated in my Ticketmaster account. Coordinate which shows my parents want and get some friends to help as well.
But today, I don’t know that I’m buying tickets. Not with the price hike.
I set a limit for Springsteen on Broadway, which my husband promptly ignored and bought us better seats for more than I was comfortable spending. And while I was happy to go, we had a conversation about listening to what I say after that, because we went way beyond the price point that I was comfortable at.
In previous years, GA tickets (for which you would enter a lottery system to wind up down front), cost about $100. That went up to $150 in 2016. And with Ticketmaster fees added in and a second ticket for my husband, that meant we were looking at around $450 for a show. At that rate, I wasn’t doing what I did when I was single in 2012 and going to four shows in the same week.
Now, a single GA ticket is $450. After Ticketmaster fees, that’s probably $600. Add in a second ticket and we’re at $1200. Add a babysitter (I was pregnant in 2016 and had to convince a VERY kind security person to let me take crackers into Nats Park so I wouldn’t throw up) and with how long Bruce plays, we’re looking at $1350. For a single show. And that’s IF we can get them at face value, which with the Platinum pricing fiasco, is a slim chance.
Yes, I’m a bestselling author now (that feels so weird to say), but that’s not covering enough to justify that price point. We need a new car soon. Our kitchen desperately needs a makeover. And eventually, my kids are going to need to go to college.
I’m going part-time at school this year, mostly to get my five year old to kindergarten in the morning, which we’re able to do because we went from paying $42,000 a year in daycare/preschool to $28,000 a year and because of the books. But I still can’t spend 3-4 weeks of grocery money on a single concert.
I don’t begrudge Bruce making money. Do I think he needs that much more when he just sold his catalogue to Sony for half a billion dollars? No. I know the rich are different and I can’t put a value on what he’s added to my life. But I’m sad that he’s priced me out of one of the biggest things that brought me joy before I had my kids.
I also know I’m going to get two VERY different types of responses to this post. The non-Springsteen fanatics are sitting there calculating how much I spent over the years on 42 shows at the earlier price points and thinking I’m insane for that, let alone contemplating what they are now. And the diehard Springsteen fans are sitting there saying, “You’re making a choice. You can always make more money. Go to the show.”
There’s also always the third option of getting cheapie seats. But I’ve sat in the 400s at Capitol One (It will ALWAYS be the Verizon Center in my head and nothing will ever change that. I still call Jiffy Lube Nissan, and I refuse to call National Airport anything other than National Airport. Deal with it.). And I’ve had my elbows on the stage. I don’t want to pay $400 (with the babysitter factored in) to squint at the screens, while tiny, E Street Band shaped ants perform on stage.
I also know that this is the biggest first world problem ever. Poor me, I can’t justify spending the money to be in the pit for my forty-third show. But I suppose this is also me saying I’ve grown up. And instead of the Wendy who wraps her legs ‘round these velvet rims and straps her hands ‘cross these engines, I’m the Wendy who is ever so much more than twenty. I grew up a long time ago.
In the video of me on-stage, when I get back into the pit, you can see me texting someone. It was my now-husband. That concert happened between our first and second dates. And I told him I was dancing on stage that night before it happened. And he later said that he was like, “who IS this girl?” because I knew what I wanted and I made it happen and so few people go for it like that.
I want to go to the shows. But I want what’s best for my family more. And I didn’t have the responsibilities that I have now, then.
What’s actually going to happen when the tickets go on sale?
I don’t know the answer.
I might cave. And my husband will say we should go to the show if that happens, although I’ll spend months second guessing myself and debating selling the tickets.
I might stay strong and say no, I’m not spending that much.
Either way, I’m probably going to cry and hope this new book sells crazily well so that I can go without feeling guilty.
But I know I’m not the only fan today sitting around, thinking ‘bout Glory Days.